Jun 19, 2008


SEATTLE, Washington – Deathwatch, week two.

My singer-songwriter cousin Jenny drifts through the Buddhist temple's garden, reciting our grandmother's name at each prayer wheel. "No, no, no," a passerby yells. "You're walking the wrong way. Circle the other direction."

"I was only trying to grieve. I didn't realize I was unraveling the fabric of the universe."


I'm repotting deck plants while listening to The Hold Steady: pseudo-punk for the 30+ masses! Still, this dichotomy too must unravel a little of the world's order. Shouldn't I be switched on to Strauss already?


The whole extended Irish-Italian family – a vast and sprawling complex, indeed – hits "pause," as Emma measures out her last beats. Our mourning is vast and contains multitudes. Our confusion more so, as she struggles beyond all logic. How has a 60lb, 89-year-old woman survived four days without food or water, beyond mouth-moistening sponges – a feat that would tax most able-bodied adults? Her heart, kidneys, lungs are tuckered ... she can only move half her body weakly. Yet Emma endures.

And Emma, also, would roll her eyes at our histrionics, I'm sure. So let's end on a clean, wholesome joke, then, courtesy of the spoofsters at The Philadelphia Inquirer. She'd like that.

"Welcome to Derrie-Air, the world's only carbon-neutral luxury airline, where you don't have to choose between living the high life and saving the planet ... The magic comes from our one of a kind "Sliding Scale"—the more you weigh, the more you'll pay. After all, it takes more fuel—more energy—to get more weight from point A to point B. So we will charge passengers based on how much mass they add to the plane. The heavier you and your luggage are, the more trees we'll plant to make up for the trouble of flying you from place to place."


  1. Anonymous7:44 PM

    You'r very Buddhist to be able to laugh now.

  2. Amanda...I am thinking of you!


  3. Anonymous: My zen doesn't run very deep, but thanks.

    And Sasch: HUGE hugs right back.